This is a story about giving up the known
Long ago, I was a singer and performer, but I gave it up after getting caught in internal knots of my own making. I left music, but music never left me. I somehow knew that I would return to it one day, and when I did, I would create songs rather than just perform them.
That day finally came to pass near the summer solstice of 2010, when I let go of comfort, a regular paycheck, and a dream job to follow my heart’s siren call. But since I'd never written a song or played an instrument, I needed time for a massive amount of learning, change, and growth.
This is also a story about wandering deep into the unknown.
Unsure of how to begin, I sought the counsel of a wise elder—a shaman who prescribed a series of rituals for me to perform that would carry me forward on my path. These rituals spanned several years and included literal mountains I had to climb in the darkness of predawn—once with a broken foot.
I had to transform virtually everything about myself, including how to stand and walk again. How to strengthen my core and my courage. How to play an instrument, write songs, and discover kind, excellent musicians to help me record them. How to change a fixed mindset to one of growth. How to climb onto stages and perform after many years away. How to open my heart.
And now, how to sit with the possibility that this may not work out . . . or that it may.
And how to keep going.
Angela Winter creates songs about beauty and death, like you might hear at a Renaissance fair during the apocalypse. Minimalist, lute-like ukulele meets otherworldly vocals, shimmering guitars, drones, overtones, and witchery. Winter’s debut album, Hollow, explores themes of mysticism and myth, loss and letting go—and the space that opens after a release, which allows something new to be born. Her second album, Frost, is a snow-and-ice baby due out in winter 2019. She once performed at Carnegie Hall, and in addition to her own shows, she has opened for Crystal Bright, knives of spain, and John Cale (The Velvet Underground).
Here’s what I’m working on now.